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Tartufo di Amedei al Espresso

A rich, velvety chocolate dessert with the surprise crunch of nutty Italian nougat bursting through.

Tartufo di Amedei al Espresso

Serves 8

Clotted Cream

1 litre pure cream 

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

4 tbsp caster sugar

Ganache

250g Amedei milk chocolate*

250ml pure cream 

2 egg yolks

Sponge

6 large eggs (70g each)

170g caster sugar

170g plain flour

60g butter, melted

Espresso Syrup

50g sugar

50ml water

100ml freshly brewed espresso

600g Amedei chocolate* (70 per cent), chopped

100g good quality cocoa powder

100g hard nougat, processed  to crumbs

To make clotted cream, preheat oven to 160°C. Place cream in a saucepan. Mix vanilla seeds with a few tablespoons of caster sugar. Scrape vanilla seeds with sugar using the back of a knife, as you would crush garlic. When seeds are distributed in sugar, add to cream with remaining sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish so mixture is 4cm deep. Place dish in a larger tray lined with a tea towel. Pour boiling water into larger tray to create a bain-marie. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours or until golden. Remove and cool slightly. Refrigerate until cold.

To make ganache, chop chocolate and place in a metal bowl. Place cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 70°C. Pour cream over chocolate, rest for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Add egg yolks, whisk to combine. Cool in fridge until hard.

To make sponge, preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm square sponge tin with baking paper. In an electric mixer whisk eggs and sugar until very thick and pale. Sift flour over egg mixture then fold through.

Pour in butter, fold through. Spread into tray, ensuring surface is even, at a thickness of 3-4cm. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Cool.

To make espresso syrup, in a saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add espresso and cool.

To make tartufi, scoop out 60g spoonfuls of ganache. Roll each scoop into a balls, refrigerate until firm. Line 8 small cups (preferably ceramic espresso cups) with clingfilm. Place a ganache ball in each cup. Use your thumb to make a deep indentation in each ball.

Cut sponge into 2cm squares and place one square into each hole. Add two teaspoons of espresso syrup in each sponge. Remove tartufi from cups using your fingers. Gather chocolate to encase the sponge to finish with a perfect sphere. If there is cracking, patch it up with your fingers. Place into fridge to cool.

Place chocolate in a metal bowl. Place above a saucepan of simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, using a pair of gloves, coat each tartufo with melted dark chocolate. Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Scoop tablespoons of clotted cream onto each plate and a sprinkling of nougat crumbs. Dust tartufi with cocoa powder, place on clotted cream and serve.

* Amedei is available at lario.com.au, or substitute for another good quality brand. 

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